6 Henry James

Sarah B. Daugherty

The year’s work on James re ects recent trends while oVering the prospect of further scholarly and critical studies. As we await the publication of the complete letters, a new volume of James’s correspondence with younger men con rms his playful homoeroticism and his literary professionalism: the ‘‘queer monster’’ is indeed ‘‘the artist.’’ Also welcome are contributions by historians of British culture, notably Clair Hughes and Pamela Thurschwell. Another development is increased attention to James’s short ction, especially previously neglected later tales. An ambitious book by Donatella Izzo advances a feminist and Foucauldian critique of these narratives, while a festschrift from Purdue in memory of the distinguished James scholar William T. StaVord highlights the diversity of the stories and their accessibility to general readers. Moral and ethical critics (now at least as numerous as poststructuralist skeptics) include James Duban, whose study focuses on the author’s response to his father’s theology, and contributors to an HJR special issue on ‘‘James and the Sacred.’’ i Editions, Letters, Biographical Studies

Selected Tales, ed. John Lyon (Penguin), anthologizes 19 stories, including some rediscovered texts (‘‘The Pension Beaurepas,’’ ‘‘Julia Bride’’) as well as the perennial favorites. Lyon’s introduction presents the tales as jokes at the expense of analysts obsessive in their pursuit of meaning. Hortense Calisher’s preface to The Turn of the Screw & In the Cage (Modern Library) also emphasizes James’s humor and generic range: ‘‘What to say of the writer who can oat a surreal balloon across the haunted elds of Bly, only to warm us up at Crockers’ emporium?’’


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A book designed for participants in Britain’s Open University is The Nineteenth-Century Novel: Identities, ed. Dennis Walder (Routledge). Two chapters on The Portrait of a Lady and one on ‘‘The Art of Fiction’’ by Delia da Sousa Correa feature reading exercises along with discussions of political issues and literary contexts. Dearly Beloved Friends: Henry James’s Letters to Younger Men, ed. Susan E. Gunter and Steven H. Jobe (Michigan), complements Gunter’s collection of letters to women (see AmLS 1999, p. 124). This volume contains 166 letters (95 of them previously unpublished) to Hendrik Andersen, Jocelyn Persse, Howard Sturgis, and Hugh Walpole. Though more often ‘‘adhesive’’ than erotic, the correspondence supports the view that James allowed himself increased sexual frankness after the turn of the century. Wisely, the editors underscore the professional advice oVered to —and resisted by —his supposed disciples. ‘‘Stop your multiplication of unsaleable nakednesses for a while,’’ he urged Andersen, in favor of ‘‘the vendible, the placeable small thing.’’ The letters also express James’s anxieties over the aVairs of Edith Wharton, John Addington Symonds, and other contemporaries. Gunter’s ‘‘ ‘You Will Fit the Tighter into My Embrace!’: Henry James’s Letters to Jocelyn Persse’’ (GLQ 7: 335–54) reprints and analyzes 13 letters more explicitly passionate than those to James’s other correspondents. Yet James’s rhetorical disregard for gender boundaries was checked by his literal reluctance to cross them. ‘‘I will send you any underclothing but female . . . !’’ he exclaimed to the young serviceman in 1914. Quite conventional are the recently discovered social notes in Edward L. Tucker’s ‘‘Three Henry James Letters’’ (ANQ 14, i: 24–26). The recipients are Lady Grace Baring, George Herbert Thring of the Society of Authors, and the sculptress Clare Frewen Sheridan. James gures prominently in Pamela Thurschwell’s Literature, Technology and Magical Thinking, 1880–1920 (Cambridge). This is an absorbing study of ‘‘real and fantasized connections between the occult world, innovative technologies of communication and intimate bonds between people’’ that in turn fostered ‘‘an expanding sense of sex and gender exibility.’’ Two chapters revise earlier essays. One treats James’s homoerotic identi cations with soldiers and national leaders (see AmLS 2000, pp. 108–09); the other links his interest in the telephone and the typewriter with his concern for intersubjectivity (see AmLS 1999, p. 125). Also revealing are chapters on the Society for Psychical Research, on the popular demonization of Oscar Wilde, and on the emergence of Freud-

Sarah B. Daugherty


ian psychoanalysis. ‘‘James’s magical faith in the eYcacy of his own consciousness is sometimes painful to witness,’’ notes Thurschwell, yet his writings furthered ‘‘recognition of what was already a queer nation.’’ A related study, Christopher Keep’s ‘‘Blinded by the Type: Gender and Information Technology at the Turn of the Century’’ (NCC 23: 149–73), likewise deals with the role of Theodora Bosanquet as James’s ‘‘priestess of the Remington.’’ Although James believed dictation allowed him to capture the fullness of his own thoughts and preferred an amanuensis without ‘‘too much Personality,’’ Bosanquet was ‘‘a canny and often critical observer’’ who pursued her own career as diarist, essayist, and ction writer. Authorial control is again an issue in ‘‘Three Interviews of Henry James: Mastering the Language of Publicity’’ by Olga Antsyferova (HJR 22: 81–92). This essay analyzes a ‘‘chat’’ with the ‘‘comically unprofessional’’ Florence Brooks, a piece by Witter Bynner that was in fact compiled from notes, and one by New York Times correspondent Preston Lockwood publicizing the volunteer ambulance corps in France. James conveyed the message that his persona as ‘‘enemy of the press’’ was ‘‘just one facet of his multifarious cultural identity.’’ In ‘‘A Hero of Culture’’ (NewC 18, x [2000]: 12–20) Joseph Epstein reviews Philip Horne’s Henry James: A Life in Letters (see AmLS 1999, p. 124), which remains the most valuable compendium. As Epstein notes, Horne rescues the author from ‘‘thick- ngered interpretations’’ and recovers the enduring values in his life and writings: his good humor, his moral imagination, and his ‘‘abiding courage in loneliness.’’ ii Sources, In uences, Adaptations

Especially useful for ethical critics is James Duban’s The Nature of True Virtue: Theology, Psychology, and Politics in the Writings of Henry James, Sr., Henry James, Jr., and William James (Fairleigh Dickinson). This intellectual history traces the in uence of Jonathan Edwards, whose treatise of 1765 is invoked by the title. The rst six chapters discuss Henry Sr.’s belief in ‘‘disinterested benevolence,’’ a Calvinist concept ampli ed and liberalized by Swedenborg in a manner compatible with socialism; and they also examine the rejoinders of William, whose attention to ‘‘interest’’ corrects such idealizations. The remaining four chapters treat Henry Jr.’s narratives as ‘‘anatomies of sel shness’’ that re ect, yet revise, his father’s ideas. What Maisie Knew and The Wings of the Dove celebrate


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spontaneous virtue yet also reveal the greed caused by a lack of familial aVection, while The Bostonians and The Princess Casamassima con rm ‘‘the practical irreconcilability of aesthetic and socialistic temperaments.’’ More questionable is Duban’s ironic reading of The Ambassadors, according to which Strether remains duped by his supposed disinterestedness. Then, too, skeptics may wonder about the depth of the novelist’s engagement with the theologians. But this book responds eVectively to critics who exaggerate the son’s aYliation with the father: ‘‘don’t bet your inheritance or hard-earned royalties on society’s providing the redeemed form of man.’’ Two source studies support the ironic interpretation of The Turn of the Screw. ‘‘Psychical Research: A Possible Source for ‘The Turn of the Screw’ ’’ by Elisabeth Wadge (N&Q 48: 162–64) cites Edward Gurney’s paper on hypnotic memory in the Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research (1886–87). Even ‘‘honest persons,’’ wrote Gurney, could be deceitful ‘‘during that temporary dislocation of the mental machinery which the turning of the hypnotic screw involves.’’ ‘‘Folklore in James’s Fiction: Turning of the Screw’’ by Steven Swann Jones (WF 60: 1–24) argues that the society ‘‘unwittingly tapped into a tradition of personal experience ghost narratives’’ parodied by James. The story is also a mock fairy tale with the governess incongruously cast in the role of heroine. Then again, the portrayal of the governess may not have been James’s primary concern. Alternative possibilities are suggested by David Ketterer in ‘‘ ‘GriYn’: One-Upping and an H. G. Wells Allusion in The Turn of the Screw ’’ (ESC 26 [2000]: 185–92). The protagonist of The Invisible Man may have inspired James’s creation of a socially invisible woman — but more important, James dramatized the superiority of his own aesthetic, supplanting the initial reference to ‘‘GriYn’s ghost’’ with the extended narrative of Douglas. Caroline Levander proposes a broader context in ‘‘ ‘Informed Eyes’: The 1890s Child Study Movement and Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw ’’ (CMat 12, i–ii [2000–01]: 8–25). The ghosts represent the real dangers to adolescents described by William James and G. Stanley Hall, though the uncertainty of the governess casts doubt on the theories and their eVects. Mary Behrman’s ‘‘Grasping the Golden Strand in James’s The Ambassadors’’ (HJR 22: 59–66) cites book 2 of Spenser’s The Faerie Queene as a key source of the novel, which features counterparts of the gures in the Bowre of Bliss and represents Mrs. Newsome as a parodic Gloriana. But

Sarah B. Daugherty


unlike Guyon, who destroys the Bowre, Strether appreciates Paris and tries to preserve its values. In Novel Art Mark McGurl contributes provocatively to the ongoing discussion of James’s role as a modernist, presenting him as an exemplary (if problematic) gure for Stephen Crane, Wharton, Faulkner, Stein, and Djuna Barnes. Despite the authors’ claims to elite status, class boundaries were permeable at a time when the audience for ction actually increased. In his revisions for the New York Edition James depicts himself as a strong reader, yet the novels themselves (particularly The American and The Golden Bowl ) signal the power of the rising middle class as they become objects of competing interpretations. McGurl’s second chapter revises an earlier essay on The Princess Casamassima (see AmLS 1999, p. 127) which explains how hierarchical distinctions are ultimately an eVect of the mass culture James tried to reject. In ‘‘Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises and James’s The Ambassadors’’ (HN 20, ii: 90–98) Peter L. Hays explores the parallels between the novels as the characters, on discovering the inadequacy of their moral codes, learn to live pragmatically. ‘‘[M]aybe I’ll turn out to be the Henry James of the people,’’ predicted Hemingway in 1943. A feminist defense of a controversial adaptation is Jamie Barlowe’s ‘‘On Which [We] Looked Up at Her: Henry James’s and Jane Campion’s Portrait(s) of a Lady,’’ pp. 221–37 in He Said, She Says. Especially during the lm’s opening sequence, multiple voices challenge the xed position of the viewer, though some of the women express the ‘‘romanticized notions’’ of love and duty that entrap Isabel Archer. Britten’s Musical Language by Philip Rupprecht (Cambridge) includes a chapter on Benjamin Britten’s opera The Turn of the Screw that may interest connoisseurs despite its technicality. A musical ‘‘screw theme’’ independent of persons and events becomes more ghostly than Quint or Jessel. Further, the songs sung by Miles and Flora shift the main source of ambiguity from the governess’s perceptions to doubts arising from the performative nature of childhood. iii Critical Books and Collections

Henry James and the Art of Dress by Clair Hughes (Palgrave) succeeds in illuminating the novels and tales despite its limited topic. For James, notes Hughes, costume functioned as both a Hawthornesque indicator of


Henry James

moral meaning and a Balzacian means of social power. With its numerous illustrations from popular literature and advice books, this study provides a context for received interpretations (Madame de Vionnet’s seduction of Strether in an era when evening gowns ‘‘aspired to the condition of underwear’’) and for decodings of James’s reversals of convention (Catherine Sloper’s wearing a white dress, not the garish red one, as she dismisses Morris Townsend). To American readers, the most informative chapters are those explaining the subtleties of British fashion. In The Princess Casamassima hats are social signs used to manipulate the hapless (and ultimately hatless) Hyacinth; and in The Wings of the Dove Milly’s outlandish ‘‘New York mourning’’ diVerentiates her from the well-dressed Kate Croy and aYliates her, surprisingly, with Howells’s Dryfoos sisters. A far more theoretical study is Donatella Izzo’s Portraying the Lady: Technologies of Gender in the Short Stories of Henry James (Nebraska). This book uses Foucauldian and narratological analysis to counter the simpli cations of political feminists, who have focused on the theme of women’s victimization, and of poststructuralists, who have neglected women as historical subjects in favor of ‘‘the feminine’’ as a linguistic principle. Izzo seeks the middle ground of gender, constructing a framework for a range of tales spanning nearly the whole of James’s career. ‘‘The Gaze: In the Museum of Women’’ deals with the asetheticization of female gures, often in stories representing them as art objects. ‘‘The Voice: Discourses of Silence’’ explains how women, subjected to highly codi ed speech acts, may reverse the relations of power by refusing to verbalize their knowledge. This structure highlights the centrality of many neglected stories. The obsessions of the characters in ‘‘RoseAgatha’’ and ‘‘Glasses,’’ for example, are signi cant because they are culturally shared, while ‘‘Georgina’s Reasons’’ is no mere potboiler but a conscious experiment in the sensational mode of Mary Elizabeth Braddon. Discussions also elucidate the feminist potential in readings of familiar tales, including J. Hillis Miller’s deconstruction of ‘‘The Last of the Valerii’’ and Eve K. Sedgwick’s homoerotic interpretation of ‘‘The Beast in the Jungle.’’ Izzo acknowledges that her conclusion (in which Mora Montravers emerges as the New Woman) is utopian, like most political readings of James; and as one reviewer said of James’s own prose, the vocabulary of theory may tax the reader’s attention like metaphysics. But these nuanced analyses constitute a real advance in feminist critique. A more accessible if somewhat uneven book is ‘‘The Finer Thread, the

Sarah B. Daugherty


Tighter Weave’’: Essays on the Short Fiction of Henry James, ed. Joseph Dewey and Brooke Horvath (Purdue). Whereas the ‘‘threads’’ treat individual stories, the ‘‘weaves’’ develop larger themes; but more signi cant are the divisions between ethical readers, who seek truths beneath misperceptions, and poststructuralists, who interpret the tales as fables of indeterminacy. Horvath’s ‘‘ ‘A Landscape Painter’ and ‘The Middle Years’: Failures of the Amateur’’ (pp. 181–99) argues for a reading of the later story in the context of the earlier one, with its less ambiguous presentation of a dilettante suVering from a threadbare romanticism. Dencombe, too, has little art to show for his sacri ces and turns to Doctor Hugh for sympathy. In ‘‘All about ‘Author-ity’: When the Disciple Becomes the Master in ‘The Author of BeltraI o ’ ’’ (pp. 30–41) Jeraldine R. Kraver contends that the rst-person narrator is an agent, not the observer or follower whom others have described. When he gives Ambient’s wife the manuscript, he sets in motion the tragedy that kills the child. Rory Drummond’s ‘‘The Spoils of Service: ‘Brooksmith’ ’’ (pp. 69–81) likewise questions the reliability of the narrator, whose eulogy for the silent butler reinforces class distinctions and maintains the status quo. Another ironic interpretation is Molly Vaux’s ‘‘The Telegraphist as Writer in ‘In the Cage’ ’’ (pp. 126–38). Despite this protagonist’s growth in linguistic power, her failure to recognize a similar capacity in Everard ‘‘leads eventually to the collapse of her ctional world.’’ Less persuasively, Lomeda Montgomery’s ‘‘The Lady Is the Tiger: Looking at May Bartram in ‘The Beast in the Jungle’ from the ‘Other Side’ ’’ (pp. 139–48) presents May as a ‘‘lamia gure’’ who devours Marcher’s identity. A complementary piece is Michael Pinker’s ‘‘Too Good to Be True: ‘Mora Montravers’ ’’ (pp. 169–78), which interprets this tale as a comedy exposing the delusions of a male romantic charmed by his niece’s lascivious behavior. Joseph Wiesenfarth’s ‘‘Meta ction as the Real Thing’’ (pp. 235–51) oVers a general defense of ethical reading. Citing ‘‘The Story in It’’ as a parable, the essay characterizes James’s ction as ‘‘more nearly about the Maud Blessingbournes than about the Colonel Voyts —more . . . about limited blessings than about voids and die-outs.’’ Predictably, other contributors focus on James’s anticipations of poststructuralist theory. Karen Scherzinger’s ‘‘The (Im)Possibility of ‘The Private Life’ ’’ (pp. 82–104) treats the tale as a Derridean fable in which Clare Vawdrey’s public and private personae are constituted by negation and lack. For Daniel Wong-gu Kim in ‘‘The Shining Page: ‘The Altar of the Dead’ as Meta ction’’ (pp. 105–16) the altar functions as an interpre-


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tive object frustrating Stransom’s desire for accurate, exhaustive representation. The best of the deconstructions is veteran critic Earl Rovit’s ‘‘The Language and Imagery of ‘The Jolly Corner’ ’’ (pp. 160–68), which traces the unstable oppositions between soft and hard, round and angular, feminine and masculine. But Brydon, as a timid reader, ‘‘softly collapses . . . in a textual world demanding more courage than he can muster.’’ A Lacanian reading with an ethical turn is Phyllis van Slyck’s ‘‘Trapping the Gaze: Objects of Desire in James’s Early and Late Fiction’’ (pp. 217–34). In the early tales the object functions as a necessary ideal for a perceiver committed to his or her own vision, but in the later ction characters discover their personal de ciencies and the claims of others’ subjectivity. Among the strongest essays are those contextualizing the stories, attributing their ambiguities to the aesthetic and ethical problems that puzzled James himself. ‘‘The Ineluctability of Form: ‘The Madonna of the Future’ ’’ (pp. 15–29) by Adam Bresnick treats this paradigmatic tale as a representation of James’s dilemma in coming to terms with Balzac. Theobald’s ‘‘wish to avoid vulgarity leads him to forgo aesthetic formalization altogether,’’ the result being a blank canvas. Patricia Laurence’s ‘‘Collapsing Inside and Outside: Reading ‘The Friends of the Friends’ ’’ (pp. 117–25) describes the uncertainties of a male narrator contemplating the publication of a diary by a woman who also remains obscure to readers. This narrator’s ‘‘thin blank-book’’ may allude to James’s own ignorance of ‘‘a woman’s unrevealed psychic life.’’ In ‘‘ ‘Some Pantomimic Ravishment’: ‘Broken Wings’ and the Performance of Success’’ (pp. 149– 59) Annette Gilson notes James’s eVorts to appeal to wealthy consumers of art, attempts likewise made by his ctional male painter and female novelist. Signi cantly, however, the characters free themselves by embracing each other and their commitment to their work. Kristin Boudreau’s ‘‘A Connection More Charming than in Life: The Refusal of Consolation in ‘The Altar of the Dead’ ’’ (pp. 200–216) explains the Emersonian (and Jamesian) lesson learned by Stransom: because grief is private and noumenal, it cannot be fully translated or shared. The collection also includes two republished pieces: Jeanne Campbell Reesman’s ‘‘ ‘The Deepest Depths of the Arti cial’: Attacking Women and Reality in ‘The Aspern Papers’ ’’ (pp. 42–68; see AmLS 1998, p. 110), and a revised version of Daniel R. Schwarz’s ‘‘Manet, ‘The Turn of the Screw’ and the Voyeuristic Imagination’’ (pp. 252–80; see AmLS 1997, p. 107). AYrmative readings of the ction emphasizing the characters’ imag-

Sarah B. Daugherty


inative growth are the central feature of S. Selina Jamil’s monograph Jamesian Centers of Consciousness as Readers and Tellers of Stories (Univ. Press). The protagonist of ‘‘In the Cage,’’ says Jamil, achieves a limited degree of control as she frees herself from sentimental narratives, while Brydon of ‘‘The Jolly Corner’’ ful lls himself through his aesthetic quest and his confrontation with the actual world. In the novels Maggie Verver and Lambert Strether are notable for their assumption of authority even as they face change and uncertainty. This study, which builds on the phenomenological criticism of Paul Armstrong and the rhetorical analyses of Sheila Teahan, might be more persuasive if Jamil engaged further with the ironists and poststructuralists. But her chapters highlight the subtle distinctions between James’s narrators and his re ectors, the latter frequently being superior in their power to develop coherent images. iv Criticism: General Essays and Book Chapters

This year’s special issue of HJR (22, iii) deals with James’s transmutations of Christianity in the context of an increasingly secular and pluralistic culture. Robert Weisbuch’s ‘‘James and the American Sacred’’ (pp. 217– 28) describes the author’s civic faith in ‘‘the sanctity of other people, the rich solidity of the world, and equal . . . participation in social life.’’ Whereas Winterbourne and the governess ‘‘drown reality in psyche,’’ Isabel Archer chooses responsibility while rejecting ‘‘the biblical and Miltonic lexicon’’ as too restrictive. In ‘‘James and the Originary Scene’’ (pp. 229–38) Kevin Kohan cites the theories of anthropologists René Girard and Eric Gans, who propose that art reenacts the scapegoating ritual marking the diVerence of human beings from other animals. But James departs from this model by insisting on pragmatic response, not aesthetic deferral. Strether is exemplary because he acts on his knowledge, whereas Densher is immobilized by Milly’s sacri ce and Maggie Verver wrongly obliterates ‘‘the chain of relation and responsibility.’’ Two essays compare James’s views with those of his brother William, especially in The Varieties of Religious Experience. ‘‘James’s Sick Souls’’ by Pericles Lewis (pp. 248–58) distinguishes the Catholic Maggie from the novelist’s gallery of anxious Protestants: her healthy-mindedness enables her to save her marriage. Ultimately, however, Henry was less idealistic than William, since ‘‘shared illusion’’ is represented as ‘‘the only faith on which an action can be based.’’ In ‘‘Immaculate Conceptions: Henry James and the Private Sphere’’ (pp. 239–47) Marcia Ian contrasts the


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author with a range of philosophers and theologians who sought ‘‘continuity’’ —the connection of the individual with a higher power. Despite his characters’ ‘‘Catholic envy’’ James’s narratives illustrate the dangers of losing the boundaries of the discontinuous self. A complementary essay highlights the persistent in uence of Henry Sr., for whom self-annihilation was the prelude to ecstatic transformation. In ‘‘ ‘A Secret Responsive Ecstasy’: James and the Pleasure of the Abject’’ (HJR 22: 163–79) Ann-Marie Priest examines the ‘‘sublimatedly sexual’’ bonds between Isabel Archer and Madame Merle, Milly Theale and Kate Croy, and Maggie Verver and Charlotte Stant. Particularly in The Golden Bowl, the discourse turns sinister when it celebrates humiliation. As in recent years, a number of studies describe James’s role in shaping the canons of modernism. One of the best analyses is Barbara Hochman’s Getting at the Author. Though she presents James as an advocate of impersonal narration, Hochman also comments on the ambivalence toward self-eVacement projected in ‘‘The Figure in the Carpet’’ and The Aspern Papers. Even in The Tragic Muse, James’s ‘‘swan song to the idea of reading and writing as proto-personal exchange,’’ the disappearance of Gabriel Nash parodies the writer’s own theories of impersonality. Notable as well was his respect for Owen Wister, H. G. Wells, and other ‘‘friendly’’ authors disparaged by academic critics. Another important book is Jesse Matz’s Literary Impressionism and Modernist Aesthetics (Cambridge), which treats James among contemporaries (Pater, Proust, Conrad, and Woolf ) who attempted to create a mode mediating between thought and sense. In ‘‘The Art of Fiction’’ the ‘‘woman of genius’’ seems to reconcile Stevenson’s romantic abstraction with Besant’s realistic observation, but James’s narratives dramatize the instability of his syntheses. The Portrait of a Lady allegorizes ‘‘the problem of marrying brilliant female receptivity to exploitative male sophistication,’’ while What Maisie Knew suggests that impressionability opens the way to child abuse. Finally, The Ambassadors and the Prefaces abandon the ‘‘collaborative solution’’ in favor of the modernist position that ‘‘art makes life.’’ Although Matz is tentative in outlining the stages of James’s development, he establishes a crucial link between the author’s feminist concerns and his theoretical understanding. Especially in his later writings, James critiqued the tendency of sentimental ction to ‘‘make an aesthetic strength of woman’s weakness.’’ Other critics likewise chart the growth of James’s interest in language,

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often at the expense of realistic representation. Textuality subverts geography, according to Roxana Pana-Oltean in ‘‘ ‘The Extravagant Curve of the Globe’: Refractions of Europe in Henry James’s ‘An International Episode’ and The Ambassadors’’ (HJR 22: 180–99). The trope transmutes the international theme into ‘‘a drama of indistinctions . . . signifying in translations, echoes, and mutual projections.’’ Linguistic play is also the subject of Alexander Gelley’s ‘‘Idle Talk: Scarcity and Excess in Literary Language,’’ pp. 49–61 in Talk Talk Talk: The Cultural Life of Everyday Conversation, ed. S. I. Salamensky (Routledge). Invoking Gérard Genette, Gelley argues that linguistic ‘‘noise’’ becomes ‘‘a means of generation and continuance’’ for the telegraphist of ‘‘In the Cage’’ and the narrator of The Sacred Fount. The latter’s speculations, ‘‘despite their lack of substance, attest to his very existence.’’ In ‘‘Henry James and the Unutterable Past’’ (SELL 50 [2000]: 1–19) Peter Rawlings notes the skepticism implied by the author’s dismissive comment on ‘‘the fatal futility of Fact.’’ Even in his non ction, James dissented from 19th-century empiricism and aYliated himself with such modernists as F. H. Bradley. Through the elaboration of his style James distanced himself from his audience. Eric Leuschner describes this process in ‘‘ ‘Utterly, Insurmountably, Unsaleable’: Collected Editions, Prefaces, and the ‘Failure’ of Henry James’s New York Edition’’ (HJR 22: 24–40). By 1908, says Leuschner, ‘‘the market for deluxe editions was all but gone’’; and the Prefaces, which privilege the author in his various roles, withdraw the hand earlier proVered to the reader. The contradictory political implications of James’s late writings are the subject of a chapter in Jessica Berman’s Modernist Fiction, Cosmopolitanism, and the Politics of Community. Like the authors in Cosmopolitan magazine James sought to distinguish between false sophistication and the balance of assertion and conciliation he hoped to hear in the speech of American gentlewomen. The Ambassadors rejects ‘‘the perpetually determined and uni ed nation’’ in favor of its ‘‘ideally feminized counterpart,’’ but The Golden Bowl reasserts nativism in its characterization of Maggie. v Criticism: Individual Novels

A study linking James’s revisionary process with his secularization of Christian themes is ‘‘Between Communion and Renunciation: Revising The American ’’ by Naomi E. Silver (HJR 22: 286–96). Especially in the New York Edition, the novel shifts its focus from ritual sacri ce to a more


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ethical mode of relationality, as the characters engage in ‘‘a kind of roundrobin that distributes the roles of victim, sacri cer, and even deity, liberally and interchangeably.’’ The Portrait of a Lady remains a key text for analysts measuring the scope and limits of James’s feminism. In ‘‘Jamesian Gossip and the Seductive Politics of Interest’’ (HJR 22: 10–23) Ned Schantz defends the open ending of the novel as a strategy to frustrate voyeuristic readers, who may err in assuming Isabel’s return to Osmond. Though Henrietta’s role seems crucial (especially if she is hiding her friend), a less ambiguous characterization may have been beyond James’s imaginative reach. A complementary article is Carolyn Mathews’s ‘‘The Fishwife in James’ Historical Stream: Henrietta Stackpole Gets the Last Word’’ (ALR 33: 189–208). Noting the emergence of motion photography, Mathews contrasts the static portraiture of Isabel with the dynamic representation of Henrietta, whose agency increases in the New York Edition. And countering Alfred Habegger, this essay argues persuasively that the novelist’s gender politics were far more liberal than those of his father. Historical evidence is provided by Gary Scharnhorst in ‘‘James and Kate Field’’ (HJR 22: 200–206). A well-known journalist and frequent visitor to Newport, Field was the likely model for Henrietta, whose experience, biography, and views on women’s rights were identical with those of the actual New Woman. But in marrying Henrietta to Bantling, James suggets an alternative to the celibacy chosen by Field while oVering a critique of Henry Sr.’s idealizations. The sense of tragedy shadowing the author’s progressive politics is emphasized by Jean Gooder in ‘‘Henry James’s Bostonians: The Voices of Democracy’’ (CQ 30: 97–115), a reading of the novel in the context of Whitman’s Drum Taps. Despite Basil’s strategies, North and South remain locked in con ict as James adopts a perspective similar to that of Henry Adams or the later Whitman. ‘‘Philanthropy, Desire, and the Politics of Friendship in The Princess Casamassima’’ by Carolyn Betensky (HJR 22: 147–62) is a lively treatment of James’s satire on the Victorian practice of ‘‘friendly visiting.’’ As in the ction of Dickens and Elizabeth Gaskell, the sincere gentlewoman, Lady Aurora, appears to be the foil of the insincere Princess; but Hyacinth, Paul, and Rosy remind visitors and readers alike that good intentions hardly eliminate socioeconomic diVerences. A less ironic, more conventional reading is oVered by James Seaton in ‘‘Henry James’ The Princess Casamassima: Revolution and the Preservation of Culture,’’

Sarah B. Daugherty


pp. 15–25 in The Moral of the Story: Literature and Public Ethics, ed. Henry T. Edmondson III (Lexington, 2000). Guided by Mr. Vetch and enlightened by his journey to Europe, Hyacinth learns that great works of art ‘‘ameliorate life for all, not just for the rich.’’ A nuanced discussion of the balance between homophobia and homophilia is Eric Haralson’s ‘‘The Elusive Queerness of Henry James’s ‘Queer Comrade’: Reading Gabriel Nash of The Tragic Muse,’’ pp. 191–210 in Victorian Sexual Dissidence, ed. Richard Dellamora (Chicago, 1999). Taking issue with those who allegorize Nash as an ‘‘Oscar Wilde gure,’’ Haralson describes him as ‘‘a proto-gay character’’ who aVronts the heterosexual order yet remains under erasure. But the novel raises a larger question: what if ‘‘the (re)productive gentleman’’ is a mere ‘‘construct manufactured in performance’’ and therefore subject to ‘‘sudden rupture and self-emptying’’? Eric Savoy’s ‘‘The Jamesian Thing’’ (HJR 22: 268–77) treats The Spoils of Poynton as a precursor of Antiques Roadshow in its con ation of material and sacred values. On this reading, Mrs. Gereth deserves more sympathy than she receives from those disinclined to preserve objects as holy relics. ‘‘Not an Error, but a Revision in The Spoils of Poynton (a Reply to Adeline Tintner)’’ by Jean Braithwaite (HJR 22: 93–94) unscrambles a convoluted sentence. What Maisie Knew has been scrutinized as a pivotal text in James’s turn toward modernism, political and literary. In ‘‘Marginalized Maisie: Social Purity and What Maisie Knew ’’ (VN 99: 7–15) Christine DeVine disagrees with John Carlos Rowe’s view of James as an apologist for the bourgeoisie. The novel undermines the platitudes of Victorian reformers, and Maisie’s gain in moral sense depends on her awareness of sexuality. Kendall Johnson’s ‘‘The Scarlet Feather: Racial Phantasmagoria in What Maisie Knew ’’ (HJR 22: 128–46) argues that the novel disrupts the categories of the 1890s, especially in its representation of the American countess (a ‘‘brown lady’’ with a red plume) and its guration of Maisie as an Indian being held captive and as a ‘‘little feathered shuttlecock’’ own between her parents. Another study of metaphor, ‘‘Technologies of Vision in Henry James’s What Maisie Knew ’’ by Christina Britzolakis (Novel 34: 369–90) explains how the author’s tropes —especially that of the magic lantern —signal his ‘‘increasingly anti-mimetic late style.’’ Maisie becomes an object as much as a subject, and her cerebral adventures are shadowed by a fable of brute power. A complementary article on narrative technique is Susan E. Honeyman’s ‘‘What Maisie Knew and the


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Impossible Representation of Childhood’’ (HJR 22: 67–80). Through his ‘‘unique combination of externalized focalization, visual objectivity, and dramatic irony,’’ James anticipated the poststructuralists’ challenge to stable identity. ‘‘Homo-Formalism: Analogy in The Sacred Fount ’’ by Stacey Margolis (Novel 34: 391–410) contrasts the novelist’s theories with those of his brother William, in that the narrator establishes his selfhood by perceiving the similarities, not the diVerences, between himself and his double, Ford Obert. According to the ‘‘anti-introspective model,’’ the logic of same-sex desire comes to represent that of identity in general. Like Haralson, Margolis emphasizes the uidity of gender rather than overtly homosexual themes. Elaine Pigeon adopts a similar approach in ‘‘The Legacy of the ‘Unspeakable Father’ in Henry James’s The Wings of the Dove,’’ pp. 143–68 in Naming the Father: Legacies, Genealogies, and Explorations of Fatherhood in Modern and Contemporary Literature, ed. Eva Paulino Bueno and Terry Caesar (Lexington, 2000). Arguing that the model for Lionel Croy was John Addington Symonds (a homosexual who maintained the conventions of middle-class family life), Pigeon also notes James’s ‘‘elaborate evasiveness’’ and cites Priscilla Walton’s astute observation: ‘‘there is eVectively nothing about this novel on which everyone agrees.’’ Linda S. Raphael’s Narrative Skepticism: Moral Agency and Representations of Consciousness in Fiction (Fairleigh Dickinson) treats Wings as a pivotal text in a tradition including Jane Austen, George Eliot, and Virginia Woolf. Raphael’s ethical reading is focused on Kate and Densher’s eVorts to avoid shame and guilt, yet she underscores the ambiguities arising from James’s refusal to de ne standards and his ‘‘reluctance to place full knowledge in one voice or vision.’’ Phillip Barrish invokes a more modern, pragmatic context in American Literary Realism, Critical Theory, and Intellectual Prestige. Conceding (but in my view underestimating) Jamesian irony, Barrish treats Densher as a gure who acquires ‘‘realist prestige’’ through his ‘‘tastefully self-denigrating regret’’ in the face of Milly’s doom. It is interesting that this discussion highlights Densher’s resemblance to Howells’s Basil March. The Golden Bowl likewise remains controversial, inviting analyses of James’s modernist techniques and arguments among critics with divergent philosophies. Dorrit Cohn’s ‘‘ ‘First Shock of Complete Perception’: The Opening Episode of The Golden Bowl, Volume 2’’ (HJR 22: 1–9) is a narratological study of the chapters in which Maggie becomes aware of

Sarah B. Daugherty


the adultery. Unusual features include the absence of dialogue, ‘‘psychonarration’’ marked by extravagant metaphors, and analeptic prolepsis (‘‘Such things . . . were to come back to her’’) suggesting the need for temporal delay before the acceptance of a disturbing insight. Then again, metaphor may obscure both character and plot —or so argues Theo Davis in ‘‘ ‘Out of the Medium in Which Books Breathe’: The Contours of Formalism and The Golden Bowl ’’ (Novel 34: 411–33). As manner eclipses matter, the novel ‘‘repeatedly abandons its subject’’; and unlike Colvin’s photographs, it ‘‘pictorially represents nothing.’’ Defenders of positive and negative readings usually rely on context. In ‘‘Why R. P. Blackmur Found James’s Golden Bowl Inhumane’’ (ELH 68: 725–43) Quentin Anderson reiterates the view that the novelist, like his father, believed in the absolute opposition between divine and sel sh love: ‘‘Adam and Maggie have been granted a certainty appropriate to gods.’’ Michael Reid’s ‘‘The Aesthetics of Ascesis: Walter Besant and the Discipline of Form in The Golden Bowl ’’ (HJR 22: 278–85) cites Besant and James Rice’s The Golden Butter y (1876) as a source of James’s novel —perhaps the one alluded to when Maggie hands Charlotte the right volume. Through Maggie, James revises the novel of adultery and consecrates the marriage of form and ethics. A skeptical interpretation is Gregory Erickson’s ‘‘The Golden Bowl, A/theology, and Nothing’’ (HJR 22: 259–67). From this perspective the bowl itself may be a metaphor for the ‘‘non-totalizing theology’’ sought by Heidegger and others. The re-publication of The Whole Family has prompted discussion of James’s chapter, ‘‘The Married Son.’’ In Publishing the Family June Howard notes the author’s deep interest in ‘‘the workings of a companionate marriage’’ —and his pained surprise at ‘‘how unassimilable his virtually modernist text would be.’’ Susanna Ashton’s ‘‘Veribly a Purple Cow: The Whole Family and the Collaborative Search for Coherence’’ (SNNTS 33: 51–79) quotes another contributor, Alice Brown, who likened James to ‘‘Dr. Johnson at a village sewing circle.’’ vi Criticism: Shorter Fiction

An important study of Daisy Miller is Sarah A. Wadsworth’s ‘‘Innocence Abroad: Henry James and the Re-invention of the American Woman Abroad’’ (HJR 22: 107–27). Reading James’s narrative as a response to a tradition of women’s travel writing and ction, Wadsworth cites Mary Murdoch Mason’s Mae Madden (1876) as a likely source. Mason’s tale ad-


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heres to the conventions of romantic comedy and domestic ction, ending with its heroine’s marriage to her American suitor despite her compromising adventure with a Piedmontese oYcer; but James, scrutinizing this young woman through the eyes of Winterbourne, adopts a more critical view to reclaim writing as ‘‘a gentlemanly pursuit.’’ Another useful account of James’s ambivalence is Dennis Pahl’s ‘‘ ‘Going Down’ with Henry James’s Uptown Girl: Genteel Anxiety and the Promiscuous World of Daisy Miller ’’ (LIT 12: 129–64). Linking the tale with The American Scene, Pahl argues that Daisy’s ‘‘new money’’ causes James’s characterization to be uncertain and indirect. His 1908 Preface aestheticizes Daisy but repeats Winterbourne’s contradictions. Less historically informed is Lisa Johnson’s ‘‘Daisy Miller: Cowboy Feminist’’ (HJR 22: 41–58), a polemic urging rejection of Winterbourne’s ‘‘regulatory categories.’’ James’s belief in dynamic interpretation is the focus of Mihály Szegedy-Maszák’s ‘‘Henry James and Reader-Response Criticism (The Figure in the Carpet ),’’ pp. 181–88 in Under Construction: Links for the Site of Literary Theory: Essays in Honour of Hendrik Van Gorp, ed. Dirk De Geest et al. (Leuven, 2000). Whereas the narrator views the text as an object and asks the author for its message, the novelist Vereker knows that his meaning depends on acts of imaginative appropriation. Tomas Pollard’s ‘‘Telegraphing the Sentence and the Story: Iconicity in In the Cage by Henry James’’ (EJES 5: 81–96) demonstrates how the style and structure of the tale imitate telegraphic transmission. The 27 brief chapters may represent the alphabet, plus a period, in Morse code. Jill Galvan’s ‘‘Class Ghosting ‘In the Cage’ ’’ (HJR 22: 297–306) describes the telegraphist’s eVorts to escape social debasement through her role as ‘‘spirit medium’’ to the rich. Ultimately, however, the aristocrats possess her rather than vice versa, and she must marry Mr. Mudge to preserve what remains of her dignity. vii Criticism: Non ction

The American Scene is the subject of four chapters in Jeremy Tambling’s Lost in the American City: Dickens, James, and Kafka (Palgrave). As in the critic’s earlier monograph (see AmLS 2000, p. 113), the discussion emphasizes James’s break from Victorian tradition and his development of a modern —or even postmodern —sensibility. Tambling is given to hyperbole, especially when he writes of the Lacanian trauma of the author’s ‘‘missed encounter with the real’’ and subsequent belief that his years

Sarah B. Daugherty


abroad were ‘‘wasted.’’ But the book demonstrates James’s preference for New York over the more traditional cities of New England and the South, also drawing valid contrasts between Jamesian receptiveness and the Dickensian desire for regulation. Amusingly, Tambling records James’s mundane enthusiasms, as in a letter calling the American bathroom ‘‘really almost a consolation for many things.’’ A related study of the author’s modernism is ‘‘Henry James’s Oblique Possession: Plottings of Desire and Mastery in The American Scene ’’ by Gert Buelens (PMLA 116: 300–313). Applying queer theory, Buelens argues that self-possession occurs in the act of submitting to another’s erotic power. This thesis rightly mediates between Mark Seltzer’s focus on ‘‘mastery’’ and Ross Posnock’s on ‘‘surrender.’’ Yet the use of sadomasochism as an interpretive model creates an incongruity with the letters, which document James’s kindness and humor. Wichita State University